The Likely Future Of Online Poker In Canada

By Ben Hamill - December 22 2020

The Likely Future Of Online Poker In Canada

The global health crisis has turned our world and country upside down. So much so, that even as the world celebrates the successful development of a likely vaccine, it will likely be several more months before Canadians will be able to resume life as it was before the dawning of the greatest humanitarian crisis witnessed by modern man to date. Still – the tragedy and impact on everything from human life to freedom of movement aside – it is also a crisis that has led to several interesting developments on the local front, with the evolution of the online Poker industry being a very good example of this.

Since most major sports events planned for 2020 necessarily had to be postponed or even outright cancelled, those used to getting their entertainment and R&R from online sports betting suddenly found themselves stuck in a nasty new normal with precious little to do while mostly being stuck inside their homes. This left many with only one other option: online Poker.

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Does It Have To Be Either, Or?

The question that now begs is that of what will become of the online Poker frenzy once sports betting returns to normal levels – not to mention even when the time arrives for betting on single sports events to be legalised in Canada. Because that era already beckons.

Relief, if unexpected, has temporarily arrived in the form of several legislative delays created by the ongoing crisis. Along with Parliament’s emergency recess in August came more delays to the successful passing of a sports betting bill by lawmakers in support of a regulated industry. And so, the online Poker revival lived to see another day. But it’s at the same time, fortunately as well as unfortunately, not a lucky break likely to last.

Two Sides To The Story

There is however another side to the story also – and a very positive opposite pole at that.

Not only has the global health crisis managed to send our health and safety meters into red alert, but also our financial security tickers. A sliding local economy has applied intense new pressure to the country’s regulated iGaming push. Since the much-needed taxable income to be had from a regulated online gambling industry can no longer be brushed under the carpet, several provinces have started pushing the regulation and legalisation agenda with new vigour.

In the event that iGaming is declared legal and regulated across the provinces, online Poker too, and not only online slots and other online table games, stands to benefit enormously. This, with just a bit of luck, may very well secure a long-term future for the game and for its local players and fans.

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